Category Archives: Technology

History vs. Geography and Sourcemap.com

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The interactive map above, produced by Leo Bonanni, the CEO of Sourcemap.com, demonstrates the impressive power of geographical analysis in the early 21st century. The map shows the supply chains for a typical laptop computer and provides a fascinating insight into the complicated mix of natural resources and manufacturing labour needed. It raises questions about the environmental and social consequences… Read more »

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Visualizing the Past

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I have recently been trying to figure out good ways of representing large amounts of historical information in a way that makes sense to everybody who might stumble across my work! I think that a good graphic has the ability to draw readers into what we do, letting us convey the scope, joy, or horror of history without needing to… Read more »

Revisiting Past Places: Google’s ‘Memories for the Future’ Project in Japan

Next month will mark one year since the people of Japan experienced a devastating series of natural disasters. The earthquake and tsunami that hit parts of Japan on March 11, 2011, resulted in tremendous loss for the Japanese people. Many Japanese lost their lives while survivors lost homes, a sense of stability, and sense of place. Personal items and familiar… Read more »

Too Much Information: The Case for the Programming Historian

Depending on your vantage point, we have a looming opportunity – or a looming problem. Historical digital sources have reached a scale where they defy conventional analysis and now call out for computational analysis. The Internet Archive alone has 2.9 million texts, there are 2.6 million pages of historical newspapers archived at the Chronicling America site of the US Library… Read more »

Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Organization’s Social Media Presence

It is important to note that establishing a good social media policy is crucial before indulging in this exciting world of conversation and knowledge sharing. Most of the following points appear in the social media policy for Banting House. If you’re looking for a foundation, there are plenty social media policy templates online.

Bill C-309, Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identity during Riots and Unlawful Assemblies Act

My Conservative MP sent the following question to his constituents this week: “Debate has now begun on [Conservative] MP Blake Richards’ Private Members’ Bill C-309.  The Bill proposes creating a new criminal offence for those that wear ‘a mask or other disguise to conceal their identity without lawful excuse’ during a riot or unlawful assembly.  This Bill was crafted in… Read more »

New Podcast: Lisa Rumiel Examines the Environmental Activism of Rosalie Bertell

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Rumiel-History-Matters-talk.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadHistorian Lisa Rumiel recently presented a talk entitled “Three Mile Island to Bhopal: the Life and Work of Environmental Activist Rosalie Bertell” in front of an engaged audience at Toronto’s Parkdale library.  Bertell, who has a PhD in biometrics, has long spoken out about the environmental consequences of nuclear power. Rumiel’s talk is available… Read more »

What will the future history of today look like? Digital literacy for the next generation.

Ian Milligan argues that we will need to make dramatic changes to history undergraduate curriculums by aggressively implementing digital literacy programmes. This will benefit both our students and the historical profession.

(Re)imaging 9/11: A Reflection on Photographic Representation and the Politics of Memory

“Let the atrocious images haunt us. Even if they are only tokens, and cannot possibly encompass most of the reality to which they refer, they still perform a vital function. The images say: This is what human beings are capable of doing—may volunteer to do, enthusiastically, self- righteously. Don’t forget.” – Susan Sontag This week marks the tenth anniversary of… Read more »

What Do You Want to Know (about history)? Wolfram Alpha and the Computational Knowledge Engine.

Wolfram Alpha lets users interact with over 10 trillion pieces of information curated by a large research team. You just type in what you want to know, the engine tries to figure out what you’re asking it, and you’re presented with a remarkable array of information (as well as ways to refine your subsequent searches). This has tremendous historical applications, both for teaching and for historical research.